THE ALR HEARING
Bryan DWI Lawyers Can Defend Your ALR Hearing!
After a DWI arrest, you generally have two problems. First, you have an ALR problem. ALR is administrative and concerns only your driver’s license. Second, you have a DWI criminal case problem. Significantly, those cases are distinct from each other. Defending each is different, the rules are different, the courts are different, and the prosecutors are different. In ALR, once a refusal or test failure occurs, you generally have 15 days to request a hearing. That timeline is unforgiving. If a request for hearing is not made timely, then your license will be suspended automatically without an opportunity to defend. Bryan DWI lawyers can make this hearing request for you.
Do All College Station Attorneys Represent Their Clients At ALR Hearings?
The most aggressive DWI defense lawyers will defend the ALR for a number of important reasons. The first reason we defend the ALR is to protect our client’s driver’s license from suspension. A six month or 90-day suspension can be burdensome on them, especially if they drive for work or to attend school. Consequently, our first priority is to protect their driving privileges. The second reason we defend the ALR is to obtain discovery. In addition to obtaining police reports from the ALR prosecutor, we have the ability to subpoena officers to attend the hearing. We question them and extract information from these police officers, well before the DWI prosecutor has a chance to prepare them. This can be strategically advantageous to our clients. This is why we regularly defend all our ALR cases. College Station attorneys trained to defend ALR cases are the best choice in this situation.
Are People Successful At ALR Hearings?
In a reasonable number of cases we win the ALR hearing. There are two ways this occurs. First, we can win based on the merits of the case. For instance, if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop, if they didn’t have probable cause to arrest, or if the proper forms were not read to the person before requesting samples, then it’s possible to avoid the driver’s license suspension. The second opportunity for victory is for a failure to appear. Once an officer is subpoenaed and they fail to appear for the hearing, the ALR prosecutor is compelled to dismiss the ALR case. In my experience, we’ve won more cases based on failures to appear than we’ve won on the merits. This is why we routinely subpoena officers to attend the ALR since many officers simply don’t like to come. If they don’t come, we win! Our clients are always happy about that end result.
Impact Of An ALR Hearing On the DWI Prosecution
The outcome of the ALR hearing only has an indirect impact on the criminal DWI prosecution. For instance, if we win the ALR because of a defect in the police officer’s report, the DWI prosecutor will simply fix the problem. But often, there may be favorable facts we develop at the ALR to which the officer has testified under oath. They are now locked into those facts. Often those circumstances can help us defend the DWI case. In this situation, the outcome of the ALR directly affects the DWI defense. Bryan DWI lawyers will use the officer’s transcribed ALR testimony against them in court to defend you.
Occupational and Hardship Licenses
As it relates to DWIs, there are two types of licenses that may be available for persons who get into trouble. First is the occupational driver’s license. This is an essential need driver’s license. For example, suppose a person’s license is suspended following the ALR hearing, but they still need to drive to work or school. The occupational driver’s license may be available for them. But this license is limited in scope. Under the occupational license, a person can only drive during limited times of the day and for limited purposes. They are also limited geographically. But if an essential need is established for work, for school, or for performance of other essential household duties, the occupational license is available. It does include additional expenses, though. It often requires a person to get an interlock device installed in their car. The person applying for the occupational license must also obtain high risk liability insurance. In Texas, we call this the SR-22. These are additional expenses that must be incurred to obtain an occupational (or essential needs) license.
There is a second kind of hardship license a person can get, but it doesn’t apply until after the DWI case is concluded. It is called an interlock-restricted license. If a person’s license gets suspended because of a DWI conviction, under appropriate circumstances, the court may grant an interlock-restricted license. This permits the person to drive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any reason, provided they have an interlock device installed in their car and they maintain the SR-22 insurance during the suspension period. This license is not limited to any geographic locations and can be used anywhere in Texas. College Station attorneys can help you apply for either the occupational or the interlock-restricted license.